Friday, November 06, 2015
British feminists bitter that new British passport includes pictures of seven men, bagpipes, steam trains and a red phone box but only two women
How about adding a photo of Margaret Thatcher? That should do nicely. Feminists hate her
A new-look passport has been unveiled featuring an eclectic mix of British icons including tube trains, bagpipes, Bournemouth pier and desktop computers.
The Shakespeare-themed designs for the 34-page book includes a watermark of the playwright on every page which is supposed to celebrate 'Creative United Kingdom'.
But officials were forced to defend the decision to only include two women - mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace and architect Elisabeth Scott - alongside seven men.
A new passport is launched every five years, to make it harder to forge the travel documents.
Alongside Shakespeare, the latest design celebrates artist John Constable, sculptor Anish Kapoor, clockmaker John Harrison, artist Antony Gormley and designer Sir Giles Gilbert Scott.
It also includes pictures of the London Underground network, steam trains, the SS Great Britain, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay, the Falkirk Wheel, the Titanic Belfast, red phone boxes and the Penny Black stamp.
Home Office Minister for Immigration, James Brokenshire, said: 'The UK passport has an international reputation as a trusted and secure travel document, and we work tirelessly to stay one step ahead of the criminals who attempt to abuse the UK's immigration laws.
'By using some of the most advanced technology and security measures around, the latest passport design is the most secure that the UK has ever issued.'
There is also just one single sheet of paper for the personal details page through to the page adjoined to the back cover to prevent the passport from being tampered with.
However, only two women are celebrated on the design for the new UK passport, which claims to showcase the country's cultural and creative heritage.
Labour MP Stella Creasy tweeted: 'So tired of this shizzle - Home Office could only find 2 UK women 2 celebrate in 500 years of history. #TellHerStory.' Emily Thornberry, another Labour MP, said: 'Here we go again - new UK has 7 men featured and just 2 women.'
Mark Thomson, director general of the Passport Office, defended the design. He said: 'It wasn't something where we said let's set out to only have two women.
'In trying to celebrate the UK's creativity we tried to get a range of locations and things around the country to celebrate our triumphs over the years, so there we are.'
Asked about the omission of female icons such as Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, he said: 'Whenever we do these things there is always someone who wants their favourite rock band or icon in the book.
'We've got 16 pages, a very finite space. We like to feel we've got a good representative view celebrating some real icons of the UK- Shakespeare, Constable and of course Elisabeth Scott herself.'
The designs were said to have been developed by the Passport Office in consultation with designers and printers and authorised by ministers.
Why Palestinians Do Not Want Cameras on the Temple Mount
Why is the Palestinian Authority (PA) opposed to Jordan's proposal to install surveillance cameras at Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews?
This is the question that many in Jordan have been asking in light of the recent agreement between Israel and Jordan that was reached under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry. The idea was first raised by Jordan's King Abdullah in a bid to ease tensions at the holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Shortly after Israel accepted the idea, the Palestinian Authority rushed to denounce it as a "new trap." PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki and other officials in Ramallah expressed concern that Israel would use the cameras to "arrest Palestinians under the pretext of incitement."
During the past two years, the Palestinian Authority and other parties, including Hamas and the Islamic Movement (Northern Branch) in Israel, have been waging a campaign of incitement against Jewish visits to the Haram al-Sharif. The campaign claimed that Jews were planning to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In an attempt to prevent Jews from entering the approximately 37-acre (150,000 m2) site, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel hired scores of Muslim men and women to harass the Jewish visitors and the police officers escorting them. The men are referred to as Murabitoun, while the women are called Murabitat (defenders or guardians of the faith).
These men and women have since been filmed shouting and trying to assault Jews and policemen at the Haram al-Sharif. This type of video evidence is something that the Palestinian Authority is trying to avoid. The PA, together with the Islamic Movement, wants the men and women to continue harassing the Jews under the pretext of "defending" the Al-Aqsa Mosque from "destruction" and "contamination."
Hundreds of Muslims on the Temple Mount, yelling and throwing objects, surround three Jewish men and their children, as about a dozen police officers try to hold back the angry crowd and evacuate the Jews.
The installation of surveillance cameras at the site will expose the aggressive behavior of the Murabitoun and Murabitat, and show the world who is really "desecrating" the Islamic holy sites and turning them into a base for assaulting and abusing Jewish visitors and policemen.
The cameras are also likely to refute the claim that Jews are "violently invading" Al-Aqsa Mosque and holding prayers at the Temple Mount. The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic Movement have long been describing the Jewish visits as a "provocative and violent incursion" into Al-Aqsa Mosque. But now the cameras will show that Jews do not enter Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the Palestinians have been claiming.
Another reason the Palestinians are opposed to King Abdullah's idea is their fear that the cameras would expose that Palestinians have been smuggling stones, firebombs and pipe bombs into Al-Aqsa Mosque for the past two years. These are scenes at the PA, Hamas and the Islamic Movement do not want the world to see: they show who is really "contaminating" the Haram al-Sharif. Needless to say, no Jewish visitors have thus far been caught trying to smuggle such weapons into the holy site.
Christmas 'buycott' to back Christian friendly businesses
With 70 percent of "faith consumers" eager to shop at Christian friendly stores, a new pre-Christmas campaign has opened to steer them to the right businesses and encourage others firms through a "buycott" to be more welcoming.
Called #AddUsIn, the effort from the influential group Faith Driven Consumer, is taking a page from the nation's LGBT lobby, the Human Rights Campaign, to reward, not boycott, firms that welcome Christians through their policies.
Organizers told Secrets that it wants companies that herald their "rainbow of diversity," typically focused on minorities, to also include Christians and their values. For example, if a company hosts a gay pride day, then they should also allow Bible studies.
Most companies are behind on the issue, but Hollywood has already embraced the 41-million Christian market with a wave of family and religious friendly movies like the upcoming "Risen" and "Ben Hur."
"In a marketplace that celebrates diversity, the Faith Equality Index focuses major brands on the newest color in their rainbow, Faith Driven Consumers. Like every community, Faith Driven Consumers expect to be welcomed by the companies they do business with and work for. FEI affords the marketplace a transparent tool to measure where brands stand," said Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Global.
"We congratulate the inaugural leaders and look forward to working with them, and the other rated brands, in the coming months—helping them all progressively improve their scores. We recognize that many brands still have a long way to go in welcoming, embracing, and celebrating Faith Driven Consumers at parity with their other diversity communities, and are diligently working with all brands as they seek to understand and embrace this key constituency."
Houston Voters Reject LGBT Ordinance That Raised Bathroom Privacy Concerns
The people of Houston rejected an Equal Rights Ordinance that that would have established nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people, with more than 60 percent of voters saying no.
Conservatives noted that among other things, Proposition 1 would have allowed any man or woman to use any bathroom, based on their chosen "gender identity."
"While much of the debate focused on biological males using a woman's bathroom, many voters told us they understood this involved a lot more than bathrooms," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said after the votes were counted.
"The mayor's efforts to disenfranchise voters and subpoena pastors' sermons and private communications demonstrated this law was ultimately about silencing and even stripping away the livelihood of those who refused to yield their beliefs to this new morality."
Earlier this month, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, a lesbian Democrat, issued an unprecedented legal demand that several key pastors turn over sermons, emails, and text messages, even communications with members of their congregations, under the threat of fines imprisonment or both. The subpoenas were delivered to pastors who have spoke against Parker's LGBT ordinance.
The FRC called it political intimidation and an impermissible government intrusion into private religious affairs.
Perkins commended Houstonians for "courageously" standing up to the mayor and defending their freedom live according to their beliefs.
"Houstonians' religious freedom, freedom of speech, and the right to petition their government have won the day, but much more work remains to be done to safeguard these freedoms across the nation. No person should be punished by the government because of their beliefs," Perkins said.
Mayor Parker blamed the rejection of Proposition 1 on the "bathroom" campaign, which she called "fear mongering" and part of an effort to demonize the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
"This was a calculated campaign by a small, very determined group of right-wing ideologues and the religious right, and they only know how to destroy and not how to build up," Parker told a crowd of more than 100 people at an election night watch party in downtown Houston.
The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was initially approved by the Houston City Council in May 2014, but in response to a lawsuit, the Texas Supreme Court in July ordered the city to either repeal the ordinance or put it on the ballot.
The ordinance would have applied to businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants and hotels, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. It would have allowed residents to file a complaint if they felt they had been discriminated against based on the various protected categories. Religious institutions would have been exempt. Violators would have faced fines up to $5,000.
Tuesday's referendum drew attention from around the nation, with the measure getting high-profile endorsements last week from the White House, high-tech giant Apple and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.